Maternal Child Health
You’re pregnant! That’s wonderful! As your healthcare company, we want to be here for you during every step of your pregnancy. That’s why we offer our Start Smart for Your Baby program. This program is designed to provide you information throughout your pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.
Please call us at (866)495-6738 TDD/TTY: (877)613-2076 so we can help you schedule appointments with your doctor, provide transportation to appointments and answer any questions you have during your pregnancy.
What's good for you is good for your baby
The best thing you can do now is take care of yourself. By being good to yourself, you’re being good to your baby. A lot of what you do now will affect your baby, sometimes long after he or she is born.
It’s a good idea to see your doctor before the baby is born. Studies show that getting prenatal care early can help you have a healthier baby and ensure normal birth weight. You should go to all of your prenatal visits, even if you are feeling well. Your health and the health of your baby depend on it.
Eating healthy for both of you
A healthy diet will help you keep unwanted weight off and make you and your baby stronger.
What should you eat?
- A low-fat diet is your best choice. You can eat meat, chicken and fish as long as it’s lean.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains (oats, corn, quinoa, brown and black rice, wild rice, wheat, wheatberries, and others)
- Foods that are rich in calcium
You should stay away from certain types of fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. They may contain high levels of mercury. Make sure to cook meat, eggs and fish well. Avoid unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses.
WIC is a government program that provides healthy foods for moms and their babies. As part of the program, you can learn about how to cook healthy meals, get referrals and help with breastfeeding. Call 1-800-252-5942 to apply for these free services.
Can you exercise during pregnancy?
Certain sports are safe during pregnancy, even for beginners:
If you were exercising before you got pregnant, it's usually OK to continue. If you don't already exercise, start slowly and don't overdo it.
Check with your doctor before starting or continuing any exercise plan while you’re pregnant.
Helpful healthy tips
- Do not smoke or use alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy. It is important to receive help from your doctor when quitting, as this process can be dangerous to a mother and fetus while pregnant.
- Talk to your doctor about any medications (prescription drugs or Opiods) or supplements you are taking.
- Limit coffee and other caffeinated drinks to one or two cups a day.
- Ask your doctor how much weight you should gain. For many women, 25 to 35 pounds is about right, but you may need to gain more or less depending on your weight before pregnancy. Don't try to lose weight during pregnancy.
- Be sure to get enough folic acid. To help prevent certain birth defects, pregnant women should get 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid a day. Ask your doctor about multivitamin or prenatal vitamins.
- If you have a cat, have someone else change the litter box. This can help prevent toxoplasmosis, a disease that can seriously harm unborn babies.
- Ask your doctor if you need any shots or vaccinations.
More helpful information:
- HIV Testing
- Low/ Very Low Birth Weight
- Available Support Services
- Dangers of Lead Exposure
- Safe Sleep for your Baby